Protest against nuclear plans for Somerset

Anti-nuclear campaigners from all over Britain converged on Somerset today for a mass rally in protest against the Hinkley C nuclear power station.

Campaigners say the aim of the rally is to highlight the stockpile of used nuclear fuel that will be stored at Hinkley Point if the new power station gets the go ahead.

They're concerned about the impact on the local environment in the event of an emergency.

Katy Attwater from Stop Hinkley says: "It will affect the whole of this country because we are a small country. We can't contain a nuclear accident. There's a huge area of Japan which is now a no-go area and the Westcountry could become something like that."

Barrels made to look like radioactive waste were wheeled through Bridgwater to symbolise the high-levels of waste involved.

But EDF Energy, which runs the existing nuclear plant and wants to build the new twin reactor, says it has the support of the majority of local people - because the new plant would mean considerable benefits in terms of jobs and economic investment.

We're gearing up to build a nuclear power station that will supply 6 per cent of the country's electricity and it will also create 25,000 jobs, which is quite something. So if you look at the protesters today, they're very much concentrating on the nuclear aspects but we're looking at the wider picture.

– – NIGEL CANN, EDF ENERGY

A final decision on the nuclear build has not yet been made by the government but EDF says it's hopeful Hinkley C will become the first new nuclear plant to be built in the UK for 20 years.

The event in Bridgwater went off largely peacefully but on Monday the protesters are planning to scale the fence at the Hinkley C site and there may well be a number of arrests.